Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Penn, Peggy

  • Margarita TarragonaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_1007


Peggy Penn (1931–2012)


Peggy Penn was an innovative practitioner and theorist in Family Therapy and a leader in the development of conversational and dialogical therapies. She trained many family therapists at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, where she worked during most of her career, as well as in her international workshops. A writer and poet herself, Penn created a unique approach that integrates texts written by the clients into the therapeutic process.


Penn’s first career was as an actress, and at the time she used her maiden name, Peggy Maurer. She later received her Master of Social Work from the Hunter School of Social Work in New York City. Penn also collaborated with Erik Erikson studying play in children and worked at the Austen Riggs Nursery School as a therapist. Penn was a supervising faculty member of the Ackerman Institute for the Family, where she served as the Director of Training from 1986 through 1992. She co-created clinical research...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Boscolo, L., Ceccin, G. C., Hoffman, L., & Penn, P. (1987). Milan systemic family therapy: Conversations in theory and practice. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  2. Goldner, V., Penn, P., Sheinberg, M., & Walker, G. (1990). Love and violence: Gender paradoxes in volatile attachments. Family Process, 29(4), 343–364.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Penn, P. (1982). Circular questioning. Family Process, 21(3), 267–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Penn, P. (1985). Feed-forward: Future questions, future maps. Family Process, 24(3), 299–310.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Penn, P. (1998). Rape flashbacks: Constructing a new narrative. Family Process, 37(3), 299–310.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Penn, P. (2001a). Chronic illness: Trauma, language, and writing: Breaking the silence. Family Process, 40(1), 33–52.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Penn, P. (2001b). So Close. Fort Lee: Cavankerry Press.Google Scholar
  8. Penn, P. (2009). Joined imaginations: Writing and language in therapy. Chagrin Falls: Taos Institute Publications.Google Scholar
  9. Penn, P., & Frankfurt, M. (1994). Creating a participant text: Writing, multiple voices, narrative multiplicity. Family Process, 33(3), 217–231.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PositivaMente and Grupo Campos ElíseosMexico CityMexico

Section editors and affiliations

  • Margarita Tarragona
    • 1
  • Bahareh Sahebi
    • 2
  1. 1.PositivaMente & Grupo Campos ElíseosMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA